ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT
When a court enters an order of child support, it orders one party to pay
a certain sum of money to another for the support of a child. The person
who is ordered to pay is called the obligor. The person who received the
payment is the obligee. The amount of child support that is payable is
usually based on state law that takes into consideration the number of
children for which an obligor is responsible and the amount of income
the obligor earns from all sources.
Child Support Enforcement Program
The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program is a federal program that coordinates
with the states and local governmental entities in locating obligors,
their employers, or their assets in order to enforce the support orders.
The federal government funds the program, issues policies, ensures compliance
with the policies and coordinates efforts with other federal agencies
that help support the CSE program. The state and local CSE offices provide
day to day operation of the program.
In order to participate in the CSE, a person has to establish that a noncustodial
parent has an obligation to support a child. This can be done by establishing
paternity, in the case of a child born out of wedlock, and the amount
of the obligation. If a child support order has already been entered in
a paternity case or a divorce case, a local CSE office will review any
documentation that the custodial parent can provide as to the whereabouts
of the obligor, his employer, or his assets. When the obligor has been
located, the CSE will seek to obtain an order requiring the employer to
deduct the amount stated in the child support order, as well as a portion
of any accrued arrearages from the obligor's paycheck. The local CSE
office will have the amounts sent to the custodial parent.
If the custodial parent has been receiving public aid, the CSE office may
file a petition to recover the support payments on behalf of the government
agency that is providing that aid. In such cases, the agency becomes the
obligee and can enforce the support orders on its own behalf, to the extent
it provides aid.